6th Circuit Affirms Decision For Doctor In Medical Malpractice Case

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 upheld summary judgment for a Kentucky prison doctor named as the defendant in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the defendant was not deliberately indifferent to a cancer patient's medical needs (Shelia Renee Runkle v. Frederick W. Kemen M.D., No. 12-6229, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10599).

    11th Circuit Upholds Bank's Summary Judgment Award In Lending Act Lawsuit

    ATLANTA - A federal judge in Alabama's ruling awarding summary judgment to Wells Fargo Bank N.A. in a class action suit brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was affirmed May 23 by an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel, which found that the bank was not required to inform borrowers that it was assigned servicing duties to their loans (Lakeesha G. Giles, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 12-15567, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10404).

    6th Circuit: Plan Properly Denied Widow's Benefits Based On Length Of Marriage

    CINCINNATI - A pension plan administrator did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by concluding that a widow did not qualify for widow's benefits because she had not been married to the plan participant for one year before his death, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed May 22 in an unpublished opinion (Mary Kern v. Chrysler UAW Pension, No. 12-2049, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10596).

    Kentucky Appeals Panel: Landlord Responsible For Defects In Apartment Roof

    FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on May 24 overturned summary judgment for the owners of an apartment building where a woman claimed to have been injured as a result of defects in the roof of the property, concluding that "a landlord can be responsible for dangerous conditions in areas not demised to a tenant and that remain in the landlord's exclusive control" (Rosyln Warren v. Karen Winkle, et al., No. 2012-CA-000366-MR, Ky. App.; 2013 Ky. App. LEXIS 81).

    Public Relations Firm Dismissed From Tobacco Case; 1 Negligence Claim Remains

    SAN FRANCISCO - Public relations company Hill & Knowlton Inc. (H&K) has no liability to a smoker who sued several companies in California federal court over the development of lung cancer, a California federal judge said in a May 22 opinion; the plaintiff's only remaining claim against tobacco company defendants is for negligent failure to warn (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., No. 3:04cv01221, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72779).

    1st Circuit: Borrower's Complaint Related To Failed Bank's Conduct

    BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 found that a borrower "makes no persuasive argument" that its complaint alleges a claim that is unrelated to the conduct of Westernbank Puerto Rico Inc. in its suit against Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, which acquired Westernbank's assets after Banco Popular's failure (Royal Car Rental Inc., et al. v. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, No. 12-2131, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10542).

    U.S. Trustee: AMR Disclosure Statement Violates Bankruptcy Code, Should Be Denied

    NEW YORK - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on May 24 filed a brief objecting to the company's motion seeking approval of its disclosure statement on grounds that it violates the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Dismissal Denied In Dispute Over Check-Processing Patent

    DETROIT - Because a plaintiff's complaint for patent infringement complies with the requirements of Form 18 of the Appendix of Forms to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a Michigan federal judge on May 22 denied a motion for dismissal (Burroughs Inc. v. Panini North America Inc., No. 12-14804, E.D. Mich.).

    Judge Finds Late Attempt At Government Contractor Defense Permissible

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Although it came two years after the initiation of the action, an asbestos plaintiff was on notice of the potential for Crane Co. to raise the government contractor defense and will not be prejudiced by it, a Rhode Island judge held May 22 (Rosie K. Sweredoski, et al. v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. PC 2011-1544, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation; 2013 R.I. Super. LEXIS 94).

    Federal Judge Denies Class Certification To Insurance Agents' Fraud Lawsuit

    LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on May 22 denied class certification in a fraud lawsuit between insurance agents and an insurance agency regarding withheld commissions on sold Medicare Advantage plans (Harold David Cowden, et al. v. Parker & Associates Inc., et al., No. 09-323, E.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72253).

    No Coverage For Suit Arising Out Of Dam Closure, Wisconsin Appeals Panel Says

    WAUSAU, Wis. - No coverage exists for a lawsuits seeking damages as a result of an insured's decision to abandon a dam because the underlying complaint does not allege an occurrence or a wrongful act as required by the policies at issue, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals said May 21 (Loren Laufman, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., No. 2012AP2116, Wis. App.; 2013 Wisc. App. LEXIS 431).

    Idaho High Court Finds Coverage For Water Damage Excluded By Homeowners Policy

    BOISE, Idaho - In a unanimous opinion on May 22. The Idaho Supreme Court found that a homeowner's water damage claims were not covered under his insurance policy in light of a "standing water" policy exclusion (Roger Rizzo, et al. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 39611, Idaho Supreme; 2013 Ida. LEXIS 159).

    Pro-Rata Allocation Method Must Be Applied, Massachusetts Appeals Panel Says

    BOSTON - A trial court did not err in dismissing an insured's complaint against its insurer for failure to state a claim because the insured failed to prove that a pro-rata allocation method should not be applied to the asbestos coverage dispute, the Massachusetts Appeals Court said May 22 (New England Insulation Co. Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 11-P-1617, Mass. App.; 2013 Mass. App. LEXIS 87).

    Vice Chancellor: Shareholder's Failure To Make Demand On Board Is Excused

    WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware vice chancellor denied a motion to dismiss a shareholder derivative suit on May 21, holding that presuit demand upon the company's board would have been futile (In re China Agritech, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 7163-VCL, Del. Chanc.; 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 132).

    Arizona Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action Involving Construction Defects

    PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on May 23 granted a construction company's motion to dismiss a class action complaint filed by numerous homeowners who claim their homes are plagued with construction defects (Scott Armstrong Sr., et al. v. D.R. Horton Inc., No. 13-239, D. Ariz.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73183).

    Judge Rejects Contractor's Bad Faith Defense Against Surety's Breach Claim

    PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on May 22 found that an insurer acted in accordance within its rights under an indemnity agreement that a contractor executed when it obtained surety bonds to cover three construction projects, granting summary judgment in favor of the surety (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. W.P. Rowland Constructors Corp., et al., No. 2:12-cv-00390, D. Ariz.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72592).

    11th Circuit Affirms Damages, Infringement Finding In Trademark Case

    ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge did not err in upholding a jury's verdict of trademark infringement and false designation of origin by several defendants despite an earlier summary judgment ruling that various items asserted by a plaintiff were not entitled to trade dress protection, according to a May 22 ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (B and F System Inc. v. Lloyd Leblanc, et al., No. 12-13946, 11th Cir.).

    'Girls Gone Wild' Trustee Says Founder Cannot Stop Marketing Arm's Bankruptcy Case

    LOS ANGELES - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of GGW Brands LLC, the company that makes adult videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on May 23 filed a brief contending that GGW's founder cannot seek a stay of the bankruptcy court order authorizing him to force GGW Marketing LLC - an affiliate of GGW Brands - to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

    Reinsurer Says It Deserves Judgment On The Pleadings In Billing Dispute

    NEW YORK - A reinsurer argues in a May 22 brief in New York federal court that it should be granted judgment on the pleadings because its reinsured did not supply prompt notice of an underlying asbestos-related loss (Century Indemnity Company, as successor-in-interest to California Union Insurance Company v. Global Reinsurance Corporation of America, as successor-in-interest to Constitution Reinsurance Corporation, No. 13-cv-0797, S.D. N.Y.).

    Court Affirms Judgment In Secondhand Asbestos Exposure Case

    GRETNA, La. - A court need not consider evidence submitted in opposition to a motion but never officially admitted in court, a Louisiana appeals court held May 23 in affirming summary judgment for an asbestos defendant (John Cook, et al. v. Asbestos Corp. LTD, et al., No. 13-CA-9, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 1030).

    Marketing Arm Of Bankrupt 'Girls Gone Wild' Video Maker Forced Into Chapter 11

    LOS ANGELES - The proposed counsel for GGW Marketing LLC, an affiliate of GGW Brands LLC - the maker of adult videos carrying the title "Girls Gone Wild" - on May 22 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California seeking to have its Chapter 11 case consolidated with that of GGW Brands after the trustee succeeded in forcing GGW Marketing to file for bankruptcy (In Re: GGW Marketing LLC, No. 13-23452, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

    Alleged Smugglers Enjoined From Selling Cigarettes In New York

    NEW YORK - A couple suspected of bringing untaxed cigarettes into New York from a Native American reservation have been preliminarily enjoined against the alleged activity by a New York federal judge, who also denied their motion to dismiss in a May 21 opinion and order (The City of New York v. Robert Gordon, et al., No. 12-cv-4838, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71953).

    Class Action Brought Against Oil Companies For Benchmark Manipulation

    NEW YORK - A U.S. commodities trading company on May 22 sued BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Statoil ASA, alleging that the oil companies engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to fix North Sea Brent Crude oil market prices and the prices of Brent Crude oil futures contracts by intentionally reporting inaccurate information regarding crude Brent Crude oil prices to the leading global provider of pricing for Brent Crude oil markets (Prime International Trading, Ltd. v. BP PLC, et al., No. 7:13-cv-3473-KMK, S.D. N.Y.).

    Panel: Consumer Failed To Plead, Credit-Reporting, Debt-Collection Law Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 22 ruled that a federal judge in California did not err in dismissing a consumer's federal debt-collection and credit-reporting law claims against an attorney because the consumer failed to properly plead any of his claims as statutorily required (Robert Van Zandt v. Russell Stanaland, No. 12-15479, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 10347).

    Defense Verdict Returned In 1st Da Vinci Surgical Robot Injury/Death Case

    PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - A Washington state court jury on May 23 found that the maker of the da Vinci surgical robot did not fail to provide adequate warnings or training to a surgeon who used the device on a patient who died four years later, allegedly from complications from the surgery, the defendant said (Fred Taylor, et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 09-2-03136-5, Wash. Super., Kitsap Co.).